Lincoln residents, business donate for fire victims

By: Steve Archer, Reporter
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To donate for fire victims:

What: Drop off or pick up donations for Camp Fire victims at Holiday Inn Express, 155 Ferrari Ranch Road, Lincoln.

When: Today through Friday, 24 hours per day.

To volunteer for a shift: Courtney Campbell at 916-295-2926

Gift card donations: Drop gift card donations at the membership desk at Lincoln Hills Orchard Creek Lodge, 965 Orchard Creek Lane, and at the Lincoln Area Archives Museum, 640 5th St. at Beermann’s Plaza

Lincoln resident Courtney Campbell is collecting donations for fire victims again. This year, she is using a conference room at the Holiday Inn Express as her headquarters and donation point for Butte County residents displaced by the Camp Fire until Friday.

The hotel has donated the use of the room to the group from Sunday to Friday.

Last year, Campbell collected donations at her home and used her garage to store donations for Redding and Clear Lake fire victims and then, with her husband, drove the donations to the affected areas.

“I began collecting donations Friday when I heard about families staying locally because of the fire,” Campbell said. “The Holiday Inn has about 60 families staying there so I contacted the manager and asked if I could bring the donations to the families staying there.”

Campbell was offered a donated conference room to coordinate her efforts and to collect and distribute donations until this Friday. The conference room is not available after Friday as already-scheduled meetings could not be cancelled or rescheduled, Campbell said.

But Campbell is looking for local churches to take remaining donations and continue to accept donations after Friday.

“Right now, we are getting the word out for folks to come here and get what they need,” Campbell said. “The sorting has died down but we could use volunteers to help with shifts. We need volunteers for late night. Any help is appreciated, even if only for an hour.”

To volunteer for a shift, call Campbell at 916-295-2926.

“My heart goes out to people who have lost everything. It’s heartbreaking to hear their stories,” Campbell said. “Some folks are still wearing the same clothing for the last four days. It’s unbelievable how fast the fire ripped through there.”

Campbell said the group is not taking any more clothing but needs diapers and baby formula, shampoo, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste and other toiletries.

Lincoln resident Kristina Carstons heard about the donation drive organized by Campbell on the Good Neighbors of Lincoln Facebook page.

“I belong to a Pokémon Go group and I coordinated them to collect donations for victims of the fire,” Carstons said Monday.

Fire victim James Johnston of Magalia, staying at the Holiday Inn Express, has picked up needed items.

“We’re staying here at the hotel because everything is gone,” Johnston said. “I couldn’t believe it was happening. Insurance is covering the cost of our staying here. The volunteers here are awesome. There are good people still in the world.”

Holiday Inn Express owner Shan Fazeli is impressed with the volunteers.

“This is a grassroots effort by a group of women who have done this whole thing,” Fazeli said Monday. “They could have done this out of their homes but it would not have been as easy. We care about the community and are part of the community. If there is a tragedy in the community, we want to share and participate.”


Donating gift cards for victims

Gift card donations can be made at two Lincoln venues: Lincoln Area Archives Museum, 640 5th St. at Beermann’s Plaza and Lincoln Hills Orchard Creek Lodge, 965 Orchard Creek Lane.

The gift cards can be dropped off during museum hours, which are from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Orchard Creek Lodge is open daily from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Lincoln Hills Community Association executive director Chris O’Keefe said Monday that the association’s Lifestyle and Wellfit director Debra McIlvane has contacted 58 families displaced from the fire that are staying at local hotels.

“She’s also reaching out to those folks to see if they need meals,” O’Keefe said. “Gift cards can be dropped off at the membership desk at Orchard Creek Lodge. We are also taking donations for FieldHaven, which is housing animals rescued from the fire.”

FieldHaven is a Lincoln cat-rescue organization.